With Christmas being just around the corner, it seems that I’ve been getting asked daily as to what I would deem as a “good gift” for a wine lover.
I originally started writing this article as just “5 Gift Ideas for a Wine Lover”, but then I realized that what’s even more important as what not to buy for a “wine aficionado”.This article is therefore a 2-parter. First, here are my suggestions on 5 wine gifts to avoid. It’s worth pointing out that, just to make this even more poignant, these are photos of actual gifts I’ve received over the years (not that I’m not grateful)….
Funny Bottle Stoppers
This should be a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many ridiculous wine bottle stoppers I have filling my kitchen drawer! Pictured is just one of them!
Boone’s Farm et al
I know this may seem like a no-brainer, however it may come as surprise to tell you that I have a full case-worth of Boone’s Farm sat on my wine rack right now! None of which I’ve purchased myself, but have in fact accumulated over the past few years worth of birthdays and Christmases.
The first few years it was hilarious! After the seventh or eighth time, the joke had worn ever so slightly thin.
This year, I have decided to empty my shelf by re-gifting all those bottles back to the people who bought them for me in the first place! :) Sante!
Wine in General
This may come as a surprise, but unless you really know the person you’re buying for, and are planning on spending a little-bit of money on a bottle (over $25), I recommend you avoid buying wine altogether. That is, if you want to avoid it being regifted/used as mulled wine.
I’ll give you a great example of what I’m talking about.
Each year I go to a Christmas party of a very cool older couple that I first met about 7 years ago (when I first started working in this country). They own probably one of the best wine cellars in all of Florida, not the biggest, but certainly one of the most expensive. No joke. I’m talking all of the 1st growth Bordeaux’s, most of the 2nd growth’s, Petrus, cult Napa (Caymus, Quintessa, Harlan, Opus, Dominus etc); and vintage Gaja, Allegrini, Italian Barolo, Amarone, and Brunello.
The best thing is that they are also some of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet in your life. However, what never fails to shock me each year is the bottles people choose to bring to their party as Christmas gifts. It basically looks like wine aisle at Walgreen’s!
I’m not for one minute insisting saying that everyone should drop $1000 on a bottle of Chateau Petrus, but would it hurt you to break $15? The point I want to make is that, if you know someone is a “serious wine drinker”, try to put a little thought into what you’re buying them. Wine under $12 from the grocery store just doesn’t cut it!
The premise behind the wine pump is that it removes air from the bottle, and will therefore allow you keep that opened bottle of wine for longer than if it were to be sealed just by popping the cork back in. The only problem with wine vacuum pumps is that they don’t work!
Granted, they do remove a small amount of air, but not enough to prevent oxidation. They also remove a fair amount of the “aroma” of a wine.
Instead, if you’re looking for something that will do a solid job of preserving wine, look into something such as the Private Preserve (even though their website looks like something from the early 90’s).
No I’m not kidding! Someone actually bought me this!